1 “I am the true vine and My Father is the gardener.
As we have already seen, Jesus may have spoken these words to His disciples as they made their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. If He did it is possible that they passed a vineyard and Jesus used the occasion to illustrate the truth about Himself, as being the genuine vine that produces real and fruitful grapes.
Grapes were a common fruit, and they were also used to produce the wine that was a common drink in those days.
Why did Jesus says that He is the True Vine?
In order to answer this question we need to look into the Old Testament.
There are a number of occasions in the Old Testament when the nation of Israel is compared to a vine, and it is not in a favourable manner. In fact the illustration of the vine in the Old Testament describes Israel as being faithless.
In Psalm 80.8 we read:
You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine – (NLT). The context is of Israel having abandoned God and running after foreign gods, regardless of what God had done for them.
In Isaiah 5 we read:
3 Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah, you judge between Me and My vineyard. 4 What more could I have done for My vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did My vineyard give Me bitter grapes? – Isaiah 5.3-4 (NLT).
Again the context is of the faithlessness of Israel, a vine that had turned to bitterness in God’s sight, because of faithlessness.
Therefore, in the days of Jesus, the picture of a vine was a picture of the nation turning from God, and rejecting His ways for them.
However, Jesus turns the illustration around by saying that He is the True Vine.
He was saying that He is the genuine vine, the Only One who remains totally true to the Father. By using the picture of the vine and saying that He is the true vine, Jesus was enhancing His words that He does exactly what the Father commands Him.
He is the Vine as God intended, full of faith and love for His Father.